Chorley and South Ribble hospital workers aren’t allowed to buy parking permits if they live as far as three miles away.
That’s the revelation after one employee complained to her local councillor after being refused a parking permit for work.
Problems have surrounded the area for years as workers leave their cars on residential roads, causing traffic chaos and aggravating homeowners.
But it’s come to light that some people have applied to use the staff car park at the Preston Road site, but have been turned down.
Coun Ralph Snape said: “It’s nonsense. One woman has been told that because she lives three miles away, she’s expected to bike it, get a bus, or walk.
“That’s too far in my opinion. You can’t expect a lady to walk home on her own when it gets dark; it’s not safe.
“And with bus services being cut, public transport isn’t an easy option either.
“She’s not allowed to pay for a permit, so she parks on resident’s roads, which isn’t fair on anybody.
“It’s a vicious cycle.”
A multi-storey car park was built at the hospital in 2006, but Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said there are still only 783 spaces for the 1,601 members of staff.
Coun Snape added: “They should provide enough spaces for everyone to have a permit. It used to be an issue before the multi-storey was built because staff’s shifts overlapped, but once the extension was up, that should have been the end of the problem.
“I don’t understand why they didn’t build enough spaces.
“If you have a car on your drive and the weather’s awful, you’re going to use it, especially if you live three miles away.
“That doesn’t make it right for people to park outside houses on residential roads, but staff work hard, and the last thing they want to do is walk or cycle for miles at the end of the day.”
Miles Timperley, Director of Facilities and Services for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Because there aren’t enough spaces to accommodate every member of staff, we assess every car parking permit application against a range of criteria to prioritise parking for staff who most need it.
“Priority is given to staff who work unsocial hours, who work on-call, and who use their car to travel during working hours, such as to provide patient care at other hospitals and clinics.
“Travel to work distance, availability of public transport and caring responsibilities are also taken into consideration.”
He added: “The number of spaces we are able to provide is limited by the size of the site, and we also have a responsibility to ensure sufficient car parking facilities for patients and visitors.
“We are actively looking at options in the surrounding area to develop park and ride facilities for staff.”